Today is a great day to wish happy birthday to a Michigan Wolverine named Peter Newell. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Peter “Pete” Newell was born on this day in Chicago, Illinois. After starring at Notre Dame College Prep High School Pete arrived in Ann Arbor to earn a degree from Michigan and play football for Bump Elliott in August 1967.
Of course, freshman didn’t play when Pete Newell was in his first year at Michigan. So, he went to practice, learned Michigan’s defensive scheme and went to classes. He came back ready to play in 1968 and earned a letter on Bump Elliott’s last team. The Wolverines finished with a record of 8 wins and 2 losses that year which was the second-best effort by an Elliott team. The season ended with a “thud” when top-ranked Ohio State blew out Michigan (50-14) and even tried to score a two-point conversion when the game was already out-of-hand!
Peter Newell probably loved playing for the likeable Bump Elliott, but new Michigan’s new Athletic Director, Don Canham, was looking to the future. Unfortunately, Bump Elliott was not going to be coaching at Michigan after the 1968 season. Elliott was “bumped” (pun intended) into an assistant athletic director’s job.
Spring football in April 1969 was pure torture for the Michigan Football team. Bo scared them all and ran off the ones who were not ready to commit to his system. Newell stayed, and played, and became a champion when the Wolverines upset the hated Buckeyes in November 1969.
The talented Peter Newell proved to be a versatile player for Bo Schembechler. He played defensive end for Bump in 1968. However, Newell moved to defensive tackle in Bo’s defensive scheme. Pete made the adjustment and led the team with 70 tackles in 1969 which is very difficult for a defensive lineman to do. So, Peter Newell was the first player to lead a Bo Schembechler team in tackles!
Peter Newell finished his Michigan career with twenty-starts, three varsity letters, a Big Ten Co-Championship and a ton of memories. Pete Newell, and his teammates on the 1969 team, raised the bar for all Michigan Men who followed. Newell’s teams earned twenty-five victories for the Maize and Blue which included eighteen Big Ten wins in twenty-one games. Today is a wonderful day to celebrate the dedication of Pete Newell and appreciate his contributions to the great legacy that is Michigan Football. I hope that Pete Newell has a great day today. Happy Birthday Peter Newell and Go Blue!
To learn more about Peter Newell check out the links below:
When did Michigan play the first Homecoming game in Ann Arbor?
The first Homecoming game in Michigan Football History was played on October 30, 1897. It was considered an “exhibition” game which is good since they lost to a pretty good alumni team – 0-15. The Wolverines did better against everybody else that year. They ended the season with a final record of 6 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie.
When did Michigan first have two 1,000 rushers in the same season?